The first 40 occupants of the beautiful Fairview Links Social Housing units, situated in Restitution Avenue, moved in this morning, heralding in a new era as the area is known for the forced removal of non-whites during the Apartheid era.
Mr George Stokes (64) and his partner Angeline Kivietz (75), both pensioners, could hardly contain their happiness.
“We are moving today and are very happy. We feel very proud as it is almost like coming home. I was born in Fairview but we were forced to leave the area to live in Gelvandale. I came back to my roots. I am especially happy that Social Housing is also a solution for pensioners,” Stokes said.
The construction of the 368 units (at a cost R140 million) was started in January 2013 and the success of the project is an indication of how government (in partnership with Imizi Housing Utility and the Social Housing Regulatory Authority) is restoring the dignity of the poor. The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has a Social Housing Policy, approved by its Council, with designated areas for developments to break down the geographically determined areas by the Apartheid government.
Mr Anthony Ngcezula, Chief Executive Officer of Imizi Housing Utility, described the welcoming of the first 40 tenants of the project as the restoration of the dignity of the people.
“It is also a tremendous improvement of their lives as we bring them much closer to their places of work and amenities. We definitely have a good story to tell,” Ngcezula said.
Social Housing is a rental option for qualifying persons by an accredited social housing institution and the units are for rentals only and not for sale or rent-to-buy.
Mr Buysile Mkavu, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Portfolio Chairperson for Human Settlements, said it is imperative that a healthy mixture must be found between RDP housing delivery, Social Housing and Flisp Housing to make government’s implementation of housing delivery more sustainable.
“We also learnt hard and valuable lessons during the implementation of the award-winning Walmer Links Social Housing Project and can now apply that knowledge to other projects as well,” Mkavu said.
Another happy occupant Joy Steyn said the Fairview Links is situated in an area that she considers convenient as she used to rent a property in the Overbaakens area.
“It also safe for me and my children as the facility has 24 hour security,” Steyn said.
To qualify, the main applicant must be a South African citizen, 21 years or older, permanently employed or receive a pension, the combined household income must be between R2 500 and R7 500 per month and the main applicant must not have owned property before or received a housing subsidy.
Thobeka Gobodo (73) and her granddaughter Linda Jawula used to live in KwaMagxaki and now happily call Fairview Links their new home.
It is expected that another 20 units will be finished fairly soon. Rentals per month are between R700 and R2,250 for apartments and the amount charged can never exceed 33,3% of a tenant’s household income as prescribed by the Social Housing Act.
The official launch of the Fairview Links Social Housing project will be spearheaded by the Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements shortly.
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